Retracing The Cardiff Railway: Kickstarter Campaign Launches!

I’m pleased to announce the launch of my Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of my “Retracing The Cardiff Railway” book! The campaign runs from June 23rd to July 23rd, and I truly hope you’ll help make this book a reality.

Please head over to the Kickstarter campaign page to back the project!

As regular readers of this little blog will know, I’ve previously written some small blogs about the former Cardiff Railway. When I moved to Rhydyfelin, just outside the South Wales Valleys, I had little idea that it was once the terminus for a former railway, before it was buried under the A470 road and other bits of the modern landscape. This used to be the Cardiff Railway, a failed competitor to the Taff Vale Railway and Barry Railway in the same area.

I’ve been spurred on to do a thorough re-write and expansion of all of those blogs into a more substantial, high quality coffee-table book, crammed with high quality photographs and imagery of the line as it was, and what remains today in it’s place. The history and minutiae of the Cardiff Railway has been more than adequately covered in some excellent books over the years, but I wanted instead to craft a book that showed each stop along the line as it was when it was first opened, as it was after the line closed, right through to the sites as they are in the present day.

The Rhydyfelin Halt Terminus, seen in 1922 and 2015.

The Kickstarter campaign will fund:

  • Newly written material and historical context for the imagery.
  • Large print, high-resolution pictures sourced from the original archives and photographers where possible, in black and white, and full colour where possible.
  • Updated modern day photography and comparison photographs.
  • Large scale maps (historical and modern-day).
  • Glossy, high quality, A4 Landscape Hardcover book, with around 100 pages.

With my previous experience working in newspaper, book and comic-book publishing, I am confident that I am well placed to deliver an interesting, informative, high-quality book.


Here are some mock-ups of the book.

Each station along the line would get between 4 to 10 pages dedicated to it, tracing the history of each stop, from inception, to abandonment, to the present day location. These pages would be illustrated with as much high quality imagery as I can afford to secure. There would also be sections devoted to notable landmarks and infrastructure along the route.

In addition to the book itself, I’m offering additional rewards  in the form of bespoke art prints (drawn by myself, based off old photographs of the line, or based on Kickstarter backer requests), mugs, bookmarks, etc.

Art print, by me – “Testing Rhydyfelin Viaduct in 1909”
Mock up of mug (The actual mug will be better!).

I’ve already been in touch with individual photographers to use various photography, and I’m also in the process of contacting various archivists and other copyright holders to sort out pricing for commercial use, and to obtain the best quality images. I already have permission from Rhondda Cynon Taff council, ‘Britain From Above’, National Library of Scotlands (for archive maps) and other such organisations, and I’ve already been in touch with my printer to get printing quotes.

The book is planned to be completed, printed and in backers hands by the end of March 2018.


In the meantime, if you think anyone you know may be interested in the project, please spread the word. Finally, if anyone has any photographs of the route (that they own the copyright of), please get in touch with me! I’d love to hear from you.

(images on this page courtesy of RCT Digital Archive, Google Maps, NLS,  Geoff Atkins, Ceri Jones & Ben Brooksbank)

2 thoughts on “Retracing The Cardiff Railway: Kickstarter Campaign Launches!

  1. Dear Kris. I’m sorry that your crowd funding didn’t work out. I heard about it too late to offer a contribution. My grandfather was a driver on the line and I have one photo of him next to a train – a different one to that in the Cardiff Railway book – though not in quite such good condition. You’re welcome to use it if you ever need to.

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